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Strike a Yoga Pose: Tripod Headstand

Yoga is full of variety. One pose can offer many variations — even something as simple as standing on your head. I have introduced you all to the four variations of headstand found in Ashtanga Yoga. The first one is Bound Headstand, followed by Double Arm Headstand. The third is Forearm Headstand, and the fourth is Pinching Shoulders Headstand. We have three more to go, and the next one up is Tripod Headstand. I happen to think this is one of the easier ones because your hands can help you stay balanced, but it can also hurt your head, so make sure you do this on a thick mat. Fold your mat in thirds if you need more cushioning.

Sanskrit Name: Mukta Hasta Sirsana A
English Translation: Free Hands Headstand Posture A
Also Called: Tripod Headstand

How do you get into it? To find out

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  • Begin with your hands and knees on the mat. Lower the top of your head to the floor so it's in front of your hands. You'll know your head is in the right position because your elbows will be directly over your wrists and you'll be able to see your hands. Your head and both palms will form the points of an equilateral triangle.
  • Once your head and hands feel stable, straighten both legs and walk your feet towards your face as far as you can.
  • Shift your hips over your shoulders, and keep your hands planted firmly on the mat. Practice doing Tripod Balance, by resting your knees on your triceps. Stay here or work on lifting both legs up into the air coming into Tripod Headstand. Keep your legs together and point your toes.
  • Hold this pose for five deep breaths. Then slowly lower your feet to the floor.
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